[teaching tools] multiplication table

I had to update and print fresh copies of our multiplication table, which reminded me that I meant to start sharing design projects you can print yourself.

There’s a single chart PDF here.

There’s a double chart PDF here. (This is so that you can easily print 2 per sheet for smaller charts. I tape these smaller ones to desks and tables.)

I’m going to do a test print of this on metallic photo paper, and if it’s as awesome as I’m hoping, it will be available for you to order.

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[shop stories] sunset streak

[Once a week or so, I'll share the story behind an image available for purchase in my shop.]

The view from our front deck has always been wonderful. I'm not sure why these streaks were here (the sun was setting and this is the east). I am thinking it has something to do with poor air quality, so I have not investigated.

MORE DECK PHOTOS:

[shop stories] broken butterfly

[Once a week or so, I'll share the story behind an image available for purchase in my shop.]

I sat on the deck for hours watching over this broken butterfly. I don't remember how many pictures I took; there were a lot. I lost the ones I didn't post to social media when my laptop crashed (and I realized I had redundantly backed-up some photos, but had not done any back-up of others…. save copies of your photos in two or three separate places, people).

Most of what I know about moths and butterflies I know from reading Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. This year for school we're studying zoology, and I'm looking forward to some deeper reading about these creatures and their moth cousins.

[shop stories] sunflower

[Once a week or so, I'll share the story behind an image available for purchase in my shop.]

This is the first year I've tried to grow sunflowers. I planted the entire pack of seeds. I had a total of ten sprout. Of the ten, this is the only stalk to make it. As I'm typing, there are SIX full blooms, with another ten already formed. The stalk is taller than I am, and she is beautiful. Also, she attracts so many bugs. There are continuously bees and ants and teensy green spiders and a small white spider aanndd some other bugs I can't identify that I think wrecked my cucumbers.

Funny how the beautiful and the helpers go hand in hand with the destroyers, right?

So far, the Crimson Queen (that's what her seed pack said, seriously) has graced the cover of a notebook and is going up in a dear friend's kitchen. So fancy.

[shop stories] tomatoes

[Once a week or so, I'll share the story behind an image available for purchase in my shop.]

Y'ALL. Tomatoes might not have much scope for imagination, but the plants on my deck experience remarkable depth of field. These are amazing because they go through a sort of rainbow process – green to yellow to orange then red. Where the sun hits, they turn deep purple. I want to photograph the tomatoes almost every time I walk out on the deck.

[shop stories] pink blossoms

[Once a week or so, I'll share the story behind an image available for purchase in my shop.]

This is one of my favorite images ever.

I took the original photo in early 2011, before I had daughters, when I was almost drowning in an attempt to start a photography business and justify my stay-at-home status after finally finishing my college degree. I would stay awake until dumb o'clock trying to create more and more and more. It's safe to say that most of that work didn't last.

Oh well. It was practice, and a series of good NO JUST DO NOT lessons. I was still fighting to learn my camera, and how to really use the available light. I remember being disappointed a lot. But this picture was different.

We were at the Birmingham Zoo.

It was lovely all by itself – it didn't require editing to be okay. It gave me hope and confidence.

And then it went to the next level, because it worked perfectly when I began to experiment with adding "texture" layers. I took a bunch of photos of crazy things like gravel, concrete, our floor, the trunk that's still in my living room. Stuff like this:

I used Gimp, an open-source (free) software program, to stack them and toggle some options, and make magic happen.

You can order pink blossoms from the shop by clicking here.